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July 8, 2009

Chicago Paper Tube Awarded for EcoPak

Chicago Paper Tube & Can Company, a manufacturer of round paperboard packaging, has been recognized by DuPont for its sustainable package, EcoPak, with a Noteworthy Accomplishment Award in the 21st DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. DuPont honored Chicago Paper Tube’s sustainable packaging innovations in resource optimization, responsible sourcing, and effective recovery at its Sustainable Packaging Exchange on May 28.

The winning package by Chicago Paper Tube & Can.
Introduced in 2008, EcoPak is an all-paperboard solution for directly packaging shea butters, balms, gels and other oil-based solids in a completely biodegradable and recyclable container. Made from up to 95% recycled materials, and available with more than 80% post-consumer content, EcoPak’s unique construction ends the dependence on plastic, metal and glass components traditionally used as primary-packaging materials.

According to the company, eliminating these materials and incorporating their function into the secondary paperboard package has inherent, ecological implications; instead of two containers, there is now one. The overall reduction significantly minimizes the resources and time needed to manufacture, transport and recover the package. All resources previously used during the life cycle of the primary packaging are conserved.

“EcoPak replaces glass and plastic, which are the default primary packaging solutions for personal care products,” said Jonathan Dudlak, company project manager.

NAPCOR Calls for Restraint in the Use of Degradable Additives in PET Packaging

The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) recently urged restraint in the use of degradable additives in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging. NAPCOR, the trade organization for the PET packaging industry, is concerned that no data has been made publicly available to substantiate or document; the claims of degradability of PET resin products containing degradable additives; the effect of degradable additives on the quality of the PET recycling stream; the impacts of degradable additives on the products made from recycled PET; and the true impact on the service life of these products.

“We urge manufacturers of PET resin and packaging to refrain from introductions of degradable additive-containing products until data is made available for review and verification so we can better understand these products and their potential ramifications,” said Tom Busard, NAPCOR’s chairman.

In 2007, 1.4 billion pounds of PET post consumer containers were recycled in the U.S. The post consumer recycled PET infrastructure depends on the quality of the recyclate and its suitability for a variety of next-life product applications. The value of recycled materials, such as PET, is an important economic driver for curbside recycling programs throughout the country.

“Without the testing and data necessary to understand the potential impacts of degradable additives in PET, it’s not an overstatement to say that they could potentially put the whole PET recycling system at risk,” said NAPCOR executive director Dennis Sabourin.

“We don’t yet understand the impacts that these additives could have on the quality of the PET recycling stream, let alone the impacts on the safety and functionality over time of next-use PET products like recycled-content PET packaging, carpeting or strapping.”
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